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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent trade trip to China for the California Grown program highlighted the importance of the Chinese market for California products.

While visiting a market in Hangzhou, China, the governor posed with a basket of California-grown grapes showcasing the high-quality California products available to Chinese consumers.

In a 2009 survey, the majority of Chinese grocery shoppers preferred grapes from California to any other source, including Chinese-grown grapes.

"From the beginning, we knew China had the potential to be a great market for California grapes," Kathleen Nave, president of the Fresno-based California Table Grape Commission, said in a press release. “When the market first opened in late 1997, California grapes were available in just three cities in that country. Since then, we’ve expanded access to California grapes and promotion programs into all regions of the country.”

Last year, China was the No. 2 export market for California grapes behind Canada, with nearly 4.2 million 19-pound boxes of grapes shipped to that country.